There have already been more than enough deadlines and rumored arrival dates for Le’Veon Bell this offseason and the Pittsburgh Steelers saw yet another pass on Saturday at 4 p.m ET without the desired appearance of their star running back. While it had been clear for a few days that Bell had no intention of suiting up against the Cleveland Browns, some outsiders believed he would still arrive in time to be eligible for his paycheck in Week 1. This is all about the money after all, right?
However, when it came time for the team buses to leave for Cleveland, Bell was not on board with the Steelers, both physically and metaphorically speaking.
The #Steelers buses are on the road to Cleveland and RB Le’Veon Bell is not on them, I’m told. Bell will leave a $855K game check on the table and the wait is on. James Conner is their starter until Bell is back.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 8, 2018
By choosing not to arrive at team facilities by the deadline, Bell will forfeit a check worth over $855,000 for Week 1, a figure that will immediately revert back to the salary cap as available funds.
With both sides now unable to negotiate a long-term deal after that deadline passed way back in July, the only conceivable reason for Bell’s holdout at this stage is self-preservation. Something that is apparently worth more than $850K a week to Bell. Given that is his mindset in Week 1, there is no reason to expect that position to alter in the coming weeks, barring a change of heart oh his part, and it can only be assumed that Bell’s holdout will last until at least Week 10.